This recording was exceptionally challenging to review. Although I’ve been aware of composer/improviser/pianist Glenn Horiuchi for some time, I must confess that this recording is my first opportunity to have actually heard his music. An additional difficulty in reviewing FAIR PLAY exists in the fact that this recording appears to have been a transitional one for Mr. Horiuchi (he writes in the liner notes that FAIR PLAY is structurally “a little freer than my previous Soul Note recordings” and that “there is a sense of space and even theatre, that was new to my work”). A final obstacle in assessing ...read more
Pianist Glenn Horiuchi's quartet eagerly dwells in the nooks and crannies of impromptu free jazz. On his new recording Fair Play (recorded in 1994), punchy piano clusters lead without warning to quotations of showtunes or circus melodies, only to melt back into the seething abyss of free improvisation. Tuba player William Roper adds a cheeky ironic sense of humor to the mix, while percussionist Jeanette Wrate constantly peppers it with brilliant colors found outside the traditional drum set. Saxophonist Francis Wong seems more content to explore the dimensions of lyrical melodicism, though he too breaks out into the open at ...read more
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